1.1 Background to study
The banking sector is becoming increasingly competitive around the world. This is particularly true in the area of small-medium business banking. Further, the core and actual services being offered to business customers could be considered reasonably homogenous. Consequently, there is an increased need for banks to differentiate themselves from competitors at the augmented service level. One way that this might be achieved is to develop longer-term relationships with their key customers. In the view of Foss, (2012) stated that the focus of all the activities in involved in the marketing function is customer. This statement is predicated on importance of keeping those same customers and growing the depth of their relationship with the banks. Initially, new customers cost you more money spent on advertising and marketing and money spent learning what they want and teaching them how best to do business with you.
The best way to sustain long-term customers is to continuously deliver high customer satisfaction and a tool for this is direct marketing. According to Kotler et al.,(2014) defined direct marketing is marketing through various advertising media that interact directly with consumers, generally calling for the consumer to make a direct response”. Onut, (2014). The activities involved in customer relationship building require an in-depth understating of the underlying sources of value the banks both derives from customers and deliver to them while sustaining customer loyalty has been a service and marketing principle for long-time, customer relationship is actually a tremendous step forward in creating a system that can provide a means for sustaining individual loyalty in a world of about 6 billion population. Alexander (2013) that the purpose of customer relationship is to identify acquire serve and sustain profitable customers by interacting with them in an ingrated way across a range of communication channel.
According to Swift (2011) also describe analytical electronic customer management as four-step interactive process consisting of collecting and integrating online customer data, analyzing this data, building interaction with customers based on this data are optimized and measuring the effectiveness of these interaction in terms of these performance. According to Thompson (2014) direct marketing for sustainable customer relationship management is a business strategy to acquire grow and retains customer relationship with the goal of creating a profitable organization. According to Green berry, (2011) stated that in order to understand how to build a sustainable customer relationship management, you must also understand the changing nature of the customer because customer are not what they used to be. The finding indicates that customer management relationship is very important in commercial banks. A survey of millions of banks conducted at a customer management conference conducted that customer management is not a cheap, easy and fast solution.
A customer relationship management system is an important tool to collect information about the customers which is used to adjust the direct marketing. The banks then, with information gathered through customer relationship management systems, target the customer directly through direct marketing. The marketing can then be customized with detailed information as the bank knows who the customers are and their interests. As direct marketing takes the advantage out of the fact that not all customers are alike, marketers can benefit from this by optimizing and customizing the marketing in order to create value to the customer. One of the many benefits of implementing direct marketing in the marketing strategy is claimed to be the increase of customer loyalty. Acquiring a new customer can cost five to ten times more than keeping an old one and therefore commercial banks should rather seek to establish a long term relationship with fewer customers than short term relationships with more customers.
Adiele, (2011) direct marketing was something that referred to what direct marketing and direct mail Company’s did with name and address files. But as modern information technology made information easier to gather, these files have been expanded to massive databases with marketing information. This data is used in order to target the customer directly and establish and maintain a relationship while offering services. The data consists of different information about the customer such as demographic information, personal characteristics, profession, and age. The customer is usually contacted directly to be offered service; this type of marketing is called direct marketing. There are a growing number of financial services companies such as banks and insurance companies that have adopted direct marketing as their main marketing strategy. Loyal customers also tend to be less price sensitive and not that likely to substitute the service offered, due to this there is an opportunity to offered services to the already satisfied customers. Gromoos, (2015). The problem faced bank is how they should increase their customer retention in a way so that they can become more profitable and keep their customers for longer.
1.2 Statement of the problem
This research work investigates the direct marketing in sustainable customer relationship management in zenith bank. The banks in the present era are facing competition and they are struggling to find a place in the banking industry. Commercial bank do not realized that direct marketing is part of marketing strategies tool and the key to continue to sustaining long-term customers’ in the banking industry. Direct marketing is an advertising media used by banks to communicate directly to customers to fulfill quality service delivery. Commercial banks have adopted different method to achieve its goals and objectives aims to sustainable customer relationship management in a bank.
Despite all the effort being made, commercial are still experiencing customer switching barrier as customers are either not satisfied with service delivery in a bank. Specially, it has become necessary to determine, what have actually been responsible for decreasing in a bank service delivery. The problem could be attributed to poor customer services and inadequate interpersonal relationship with the customers. The problem could be attributed be to inadequate follow-up on customers account and poor sales representative (know your customer). The study focus on the direct marketing and sustainable customer relationship management with existing ones and long-term customers.
1.3 Research Questions
The researcher considers the following research question.
1. To what extent does customers’ service help to improve customer relationship management?
2. Does direct e-mail help in informing customers’ about new banking policies?
3. Does use of phone calls facilitate follow-up on customers’ accounts?
4. Does sales representative visit to clients help improve customers’ relationship management?
1.4 Objectives of the study
The broad objectives of this study was to find out how direct marketing and sustainable customer relationship management with special reference to zenith bank in Nigeria. The specific objectives of the study are:
1. To know whether customer service desk help to improve customers’ relationship management.
2. To identify whether direct e-mail help in informing customers about new banking policies.
3. To determine if the use of phone calls facilitate follow-up on customers’ accounts.
4. To find out whether sales representative visit to clients help to improve customers’ relationship management.
1.5 Significance of the study
The following are the significance of this study:
1. The outcome of this study will be a useful guide to zenith banks has it will help the management of bank to educate them on way and approaches to sustainable customer relationship with a view of sustained the bank customer base through better customer bank interaction.
2. The study will also help to know how best or way through which improvement in direct marketing could be achieved.
3. The outcome of this study will help to see certain areas that have not been considered about direct marketing.
1.6 Formulation of Hypothesis
Ho: Customer service desk does not improve customer relationship management.
Ha Customer service desk help to improve customer relationship management.
Ho: Direct e-mail does not inform customers about new banking policies.
Ha: Direct e-mail help in inform customers about new banking policies.
Ho: Phone calls does not facilitate follow-up on customers’ accounts.
Ha: Phone calls facilitate follow-up on customers’ accounts.
Ho: Know your customers’ visit does not improve customers’ relationship management.
Ha: Know your customers’ visit to clients help to improve customers’ relationship management.
1.7 Scope of the study
The focus of this research work is to examine direct marketing and sustainable customer relationship management in zenith bank, Delta state. The work therefore did not consider other variable under marketing strategy. However, in view of limited resources, time and other constraints, emphasis was placed on direct marketing by bank, within the state.
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